Bitcoin plummets $200 in 4 hours then recovers in wild trading that serves as a cautionary tale

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Bitcoin’s meteoric rise took a hit overnight as the digital currency erased, then mostly recovered, about $200 in 12 hours.

The swing highlights how volatile the cryptocurrency can still be, even as some investors believe bitcoin can one day be a viable alternative to safety assets such as gold. A similarly rapid move of $200 in futures contracts for the precious metal would have caught the attention of global investors: Gold has traded in a range of about $150 so far this year.

Bitcoin was trading near $2,234 Tuesday as of 9:24 a.m., ET, after falling below $2,100 overnight, according to CoinDesk.

Chris Burniske, blockchain products lead at ARK Investment Management, pointed out in a January whitepaper that bitcoin’s daily volatility was about a fifth of what it was five years ago.

“While bitcoin’s volatility has been decreasing over time, it should still be recognized and treated as a volatile asset,” he told CNBC.

Bitcoin overnight performance

Source: CoinDesk

On Monday, bitcoin briefly surged more than 11 percent to a fresh record of $2,289.21, up about 30 percent in the last week alone. The digital currency gained momentum as a major digital currency conference kicked off Monday in New York, after demand from Asian investors sent the currency above $2,000 for the first time Saturday.

In less than a decade of existence, bitcoin has often swung dramatically. The digital currency fell more than 10 percent in January when Chinese authorities began investigating bitcoin exchanges and dropped more than 20 percent in March when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the application for what would have been the first U.S.-traded bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

News that the SEC is reviewing that decision and the Japanese government’s official recognition of bitcoin as a legal form of payment have contributed to the cryptocurrency’s run higher of the last several weeks.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC

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Brand stewards, fake news, transport woes and a Brexit badge for Brits: INTA 2017 day two report

Trevor Little

Often the busiest day for attendees, the Monday of the INTA Annual Meeting usually features a full schedule of meetings, sessions, table topics and receptions reaching a crescendo that often goes into the early hours of Tuesday. Trying to keep up with the rapid pace of activities, the World Trademark Review editorial team of Trevor Little (TL), Joff Wild (JW) and Tim Lince (TJL) report on the action.

In case you missed it, you can read our highlights from Sunday’s activities and sessions here, and don’t forget you can pick up the latest World Trademark Review publications from stand C67-C68 in the exhibition hall.

Chaos theory – Respect to delegates and speakers who made it into the conference venue on time this morning. The small matter of a strike on the Barcelona metro has made getting around the city even more of a challenge than usual today – with gridlock on the streets and taxis in short supply. Spare a thought, too, for those law firms and service providers who have hired out venues in the centre of town for receptions this afternoon and this evening. The truth is that a lot of delegates are going to struggle to get to them. Impressive locations, delicious food and free-flowing drinks come at a hell of a cost, but are a staple of every annual INTA meeting because of the client development opportunities and goodwill they create. However, an expensive reception that gets a lower turnout than expected through no fault of your own is not a happy prospect; though it’s one a fair few must be worrying about right now. There will be a lot of marketers and partners offering private prayers that their invited guests will decide not to let the prospect of an hour or more in a cab get in the way of the chance to network over a tasty tapas and a glass or two of wine. (JW)  

INTA looks boldly into the future – The opening ceremony of this year’s INTA Annual Meeting (or, as local media has reportedly been calling it, the “World Trademark Congress”) began with some traditional Spanish music, but CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo’s speech will have also been music to attendee’s ears. While confirming that this year’s conference is the biggest ever (with over 8,000 repeat attendees), he also provided an update on the association’s current membership: 31,000 individual members across over 7,000 organisation in 190 countries. But it was a series of pledges for the future that were at the heart of Sanz de Acedo’s message. At the centre of it all was the 2018-2021 strategic plan (which was sent by email to all members during the opening ceremony, and is also available here). The plan is built on three key tenets: promoting the value of trademarks, reinforcing consumer trust and embracing innovation and change. Indeed, the latter point appears to already be in action, with Sanz de Acedo indicating a striking new direction in the association’s approach to combat the spread of plain packaging legislation. “This fight isn’t just about plain packaging, it goes well beyond that; it’s a concern for companies if they can’t use their rights, and for consumers who won’t be able to identify the origin of their products,” he stated. “This year, we put together a presidential task-force that is looking at building a new narrative around brand restrictions like plain packaging. We know the legal arguments, but the problem is the politicians and legislators need more than that. We need our CEOs to stand up on behalf of brand owners and speak up on the need to protect brands. What if your bottle couldn’t have your trademark on it? It would be a concern for you, your workers and society at large.” One feels that, in light of the recent (leaked) WTO decision, INTA’s task ahead could be a tough one. (TJL)

Call yourself a trademark lawyer? Time for a new mission (statement) – Opening the 2015 Annual Meeting, then president J Scott Evans implored trademark counsel to start seeing themselves first and foremost as brand ambassadors, even if that sometimes means making decisions that conflict with long-standing trademark practice. Fast forward two years and – in much the same way that brands themselves are evolving – 2017 president Joseph Ferretti stated that it was time for counsel to go even further. Ferretti provided attendees at the opening addresses a historical overview of brand evolution. From the early 1800s, when brands were a symbol of quality rather than ownership, through to the mid-1900s (when brands started telling stories, one example being Procter and Gamble’s development of sponsored media content, giving birth to the term ‘soap opera’) and up to the present social media age, in which authenticity is key. In the current paradigm, consumers want brands that speak to them, and interact in a meaningful way (at Pepsico, he explained, advertising campaigns have been devised by customers, who are also given the opportunity to vote for the new products they would like to see launched). Alongside this brand evolution, then, trademark counsel need to move with the times. Ferretti stated: “I repeat J Scott’s call but add to it – we should approach work not as technical trademark professionals and brand ambassadors – we should be brand stewards.” This shift, he argued, means that through a deeper understanding of “where brands are going”, counsel will be able to “see the challenges ahead and solve them holistically…” Thus he challenged the audience to “embrace the role of brand steward – someone who understand the values and voice of the brand. By doing so we can help navigate our brands to a successful future. The time has come for us to embrace our role – not just as technical trademark practitioners but more broadly as stewards of our brands.” For those playing INTA bingo, it was telling that ‘brand’ was the term repeatedly used rather than ‘trademark’. In recent years INTA has proactively positioned itself as an association that is brand-facing, rather than solely focused on trademark issues. And this joint focus is enshrined in its new mission statement, unveiled at the opening ceremony: The International Trademark Association is a global association of brand owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property to foster consumer trust, growth and innovation. (TL)

Hopeful about Trump – At the USPTO user meeting, trademark commissioner Mary Boney Denison gave an overview of the office’s previous year and key changes being lined up for the future. A key bugbear for Denison is the persistent use of paper filings, a subject she spoke to us about last year. “Despite raising fees significantly, the current $600 still doesn’t cover our costs,” she complained; but went on to confirm that “by the end of the fiscal year” the office is hoping to make it mandatory to file electronically. While that sounds like a significant change, she added that paper filings are nearly phased out already, with only six paper applications submitted during the last week. But the main topic on everyone’s lips was how the new Trump administration will affect the running of the USPTO. In that sense, Denison remained calm and – while admitting that the hiring freeze could be a challenge if the office is unable to bring in more examiners – seemed to be hopeful that the major federal efficiency overhaul that Trump is moving forward with won’t have a significant effect on operations. “Ultimately, we don’t take any taxpayer dollars,” she said. “So we hope to be able to hire in the next fiscal year to continue meeting our pendency goals.” (TJL)

How the other half live –  The clamour for convenient hotel rooms left many looking at alternative accommodation for their annual INTA excursion. This year it seems a growing number of firms have taken to renting out houses (and yesterday we noted that one had also invited clients to move in with them for the week). As well as making sense financially, this approach can serve a positive bonding purpose. However, not everyone is so keen on doing the dishes with their colleagues. A few law firm representatives have noted that senior management have plumped for hotels over shared accommodation with their team. One lawyer told us that being in shared accommodation, and the antics that ensue, is like being back at college. It looks like some senior professionals are missing out on the fun (and/or the opportunity to make sure that their fellow team members behave!). (TL)

A badge for the Brits – It is emerging as a dominant subject of conversation at this year’s INTA meeting. That means for British attendees, there really is no getting away from Brexit. Speaking from the UK IP Office stand in the exhibition hall (the office’s first since 2008), a representative from the agency told World Trademark Review: “We are not here because of Brexit; we are primarily attending this year to bring our attaches together and remind everyone that the UK is open for business. In fact even if the result had gone the other way last year, we would have had a stand here in Barcelona. But, overall, nearly every question has been about Brexit.” And what goes for the UKIPO goes for everyone else from the country in attendance here, too. The problem is that whatever the question the answer has to be the same: “I just don’t know.” Nobody does, not even the British government; just about everything is still up in the air. So, if you are from the UK and you are getting tired and not a little depressed about this subject, World Trademark Review has produced a downloadable card for you to display on your conference ID or somewhere else prominent about your person. Get your “I just don’t know” badge here. Wear it with pride, or not as the case may be. (JW)

Lanyard hunt – There are over 10,000 attendees at this year’s Annual Meeting, and nearly all of them have a lanyard around their neck adorned with the name of legal services provider (and sponsor) MarkMonitor. But at least one delegate is not happy about having that brand name around his neck as they are representing a rival legal services company in the exhibition hall. To that end, he has been looking for replacement lanyards to wear instead – and, to date, has not been successful in that endeavour. But the delegate admitted it was a canny move by his rival, and even went to their exhibition stand and said: “Well played.” (TJL)

Don’t read too much into the lack of ‘.brand’ registrations – As we inch closer to a second round of new gTLD applications, the question of first round success is often raised, particularly by brands mulling over potential applications. Compare the number of registrations in ‘.brands’ with other new gTLDs and the former are lagging way behind. But when it comes to assessing ‘.brands’, CSC Digital Brand Services’ Gretchen Olive argues that they should be viewed through a different prism. Crucially, she notes that ‘.brands’ are just not in a rush to launch. Nor are they subject to the same pressures to do so, in a bid to recoup their investment through registration sales: “Success is not measured by registrations or profit, but instead the unique strategic business goals of each individual brand.” The operators of branded online spaces, then, are marching to the beat of a different drum. One such is Accenture, with Kristen Poggensee, paralegal associate manager, joining Olive in the ‘‘.brands’ and you’ session. Poggensee is part of a cross-company team – drawing on legal, marketing and IT – that is driving the digital strategy behind ‘.accenture’, and she explained: “Right now we are not looking to just switch from ‘.com’ to ‘.accenture’. Instead we are taking a phased approach and testing the water. This is an evolving strategy.” Central to this are continued efforts to “build awareness – not only within the company but also the community”, engage in industry and competitor analysis, and ensure that senior management remains involved in the project as this evolution continues: “You have to keep interest levels high.” The takeaway? There may not be a big bang moment in terms of ‘.brand’ deployment but don’t regard that as indicating failure. Brand registries are instead working at their own pace, exploring and testing different options, and rolling out only when it is strategically advantageous to do so. (TL)

Reception collection – While the INTA Annual Meeting is an excellent event for educational reasons, it is the extensive networking opportunities that really set it apart. Beyond the meetings being held at the main hall, the dozens of receptions that take place every evening – often at the most glamourous event spaces around Barcelona – are a contact-making goldmine for attendees. A difficulty for some, however, is pinpointing exactly where the action is. But a new app aims to change that. IPConnect (which is available on Android and iPhone) describes itself as “a communication app for IP professionals” and includes an event section with many of the receptions listed to aid schedule planning. So for those looking for even more networking before the gruelling INTA week is over, this could be worth an install. (TJL)

Attache action – To the centre of town for a Sunday afternoon reception organised by the UK IP Office and the country’s Chartered Institute of Trademark Attorneys. Unsurprisingly given what is coming down the line not two years from now, there was a strong turnout of INTA meeting delegates and plenty of Brexit-related discussion. For the UK’s network of four IP attaches, based in Singapore, China, India and Brazil, the lead-up to departure from the EU will be a particularly busy time. Not least because IP support currently available to British businesses via the European Commission and other European Union institutions, such as the EUIPO, will no longer be available after March 2019. In China, Latin America and South-East Asia, for example, SMEs from any member state are able to make use of the services offered by dedicated IPR helpdesks. There is a lot of free stuff on offer, including advice on dealing with counterfeiting and piracy, forging relationships with local enforcement agencies and general all-round local insight. When cash is tight and knowledge is short, having access to such on-the-ground expertise can be a lifesaver. But for British businesses it will not be a resource for much longer. So how does that get replaced? Indeed, can it be replaced? The UK’s IP attaches are already extremely busy and the IPO is not exactly a ceaseless golden fountain of funds (though the canapes were excellent at the reception), so some very smart thinking will be required, as well as – perhaps –the forging of deeper relationships with IP attaches from other countries; and, whisper it softly so Boris does not hear, even an on-going level of cooperation with those who provide the EU’s services. One of the reasons why the UK’s Brexiteers insisted the country had to leave the EU was so that it could deepen trade links with other parts of the world. A lot of that will be dependent on the ability to ensure strong IP protection; so what the UK cannot afford to do is to reduce the support its exporting SMEs receive as they seek to sell into the world’s emerging markets. The country’s IP attaches will therefore have to play a crucial role in the years to come. Let’s see what kind of financial support they are provided with in order to do this. It would be nice to think they will get what they need; but does anyone believe that they will? (JW)

Fake news comes to INTA – One of the most repeated phrases in media and political circles in the past 12 months has been the term “fake news”. What was once a term to describe fictional stories posing as legitimate news (often on websites posing as well-known news brands), is now being used in much more varied, arguably partisan ways. Often not considered are the IP elements involved in the creation of fake news. Today’s session on trademark issues in the publishing industry took a look at just that, with moderator Jeffrey D Parnass of News Corp saying that, surprisingly, the rise of ‘fake news’ has been a boon for major media companies. “News organisations are making money precisely because of fake news as people now want to know the source to ensure they are getting real news,” he said. “This wasn’t necessarily an issue a couple of years ago.”  Nonetheless, the enforcement of fake news by IP counsel at major media titles has really stepped up in the past 12 months. Kate Teh from the Telegraph Media Group gave countless examples of websites that she has dealt with that mimic the popular Telegraph.co.uk website. But, she added, she relies on infringers to respond to a cease-and-desist request because the next steps are often too costly to pursue. “It is a challenge in the newspaper industry because if we don’t get a response to a cease-and-desist letter, there’s not quite enough income generated to take further legal action – especially if the infringement is in another jurisdiction.” Teh revealed that 80% of infringers do respond – which is no doubt a relief for news organisations and people seeking real news. (TJL)

Stay tuned – Don’t forget you can keep up-to-date with the latest INTA Annual Meeting news and insights on our Twitter page

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Article source: http://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/Blog/detail.aspx?g=9e09172d-596e-474c-9db0-d9e29db348b3

Ubuntu Linux Falls on Day 1 of Pwn2Own Hacking Competition

The Pwn2Own hacking competition began on March 15, and security researchers have already successfully exploited Ubuntu Linux, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Adobe Reader. In total, Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), which operates the contest, has awarded researchers $233,000 for their efforts.

The Pwn2Own 2017 event marks the 10th year for the annual hacking competition and is once again being held at the CanSecWest Conference in Vancouver. While Pwn2Own has always taken aim at web browsers, the 2017 event is the first that provided Linux, and specifically the Ubuntu 16.10 Linux distribution, as a target. Researchers did not shy away from Linux’s first time at Pwn2Own, taking direct aim at the open-source operating system.

“The Chaitin Security Research Lab (@ChaitinTech) welcomes Ubuntu Linux to Pwn2Own with a Linux kernel heap out-of-bound access,” ZDI wrote in a blog post.

For its efforts, the Chaitin Security Research Lab was awarded a $15,000 prize. Abdul Hariri, senior vulnerability researcher with ZDI, confirmed to eWEEK that the flaw found was in the Linux 4.8 kernel used by the Ubuntu 16.10 distribution that was hacked on stage at Pwn2Own. The flaw itself was triggered by a researcher who only had basic user access but was able to elevate privileges with the vulnerability to become the root administrative account user.

Typically with any vulnerability that is publicly shown at Pwn2Own, onsite vendor representatives are privately provided the full details of any demonstrated flaw. Hariri said that ZDI will be disclosing the kernel issue to Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, though he noted that there was no representative from Canonical at the Pwn2Own event.

In addition to the Ubuntu Linux attack target, the Pwn2Own 2017 event also listed Apache Web Server running on Ubuntu 16.10 Linux as a potential target, with a prize of $200,000 for a successful exploit. Dustin Childs, director of communication for ZDI, told eWEEK that no one has registered to take aim at the Apache/Ubuntu target.

Chaitin Security Research Lab didn’t stop after successfully exploiting Ubuntu. It was also able to successfully demonstrate a chain of six bugs in Apple Safari, gaining root access on macOS. ZDI awarded Chaitin Security Research Lab $35,000 for the Apple exploits.

Researchers from the 360 Security team, meanwhile, earned a $50,000 award for chaining a pair of Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities together to demonstrate a remote code execution flaw in Adobe Reader. 

Tencent Security also took aim at Adobe Reader, exploiting a new use-after-free vulnerability to gain code execution, earning a reward of $25,000 from ZDI. In addition, Tencent was able to exploit the Microsoft Edge browser by using a logic bug to escape the browser sandbox, resulting in an award of $80,000.

Researchers Samuel Groß and Niklas Baumstark earned $28,000 for what ZDI called a “partial win” in an attack against Apple Safari and macOS.

“They employed a use-after-free in Safari combined with three logic bugs and a null pointer dereference to exploit Safari and elevate to root in macOS,” Childs told eWEEK. “Unfortunately, the UAF was corrected by the beta version of the browser, earning them only the partial win.”

Pwn2Own continues through March 17, as more researchers will attempt to demonstrate additional zero-day exploits to claim more of ZDI’s award money.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Article source: http://www.eweek.com/security/ubuntu-linux-falls-on-day-1-of-pwn2own-hacking-competition

Bitcoin jumps $200 in single day and has nearly doubled in May on surging global demand

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Bitcoin stock surging


Bitcoin added more than $200 Monday at one point amid a major New York conference on digital currencies, following a surge in weekend interest from Asian investors.

The cryptocurrency briefly leaped more than 11 percent past $2,100 and $2,200 to hit an all-time high of $2,289.21, according to CoinDesk.com. Bitcoin was last trading near $2,236, about $200 short of doubling in value for May.

On Monday, the bitcoin news site kicked off its two-and-a-half-day digital currency conference, Consensus. The third annual conference is expected to draw more than 2,000 attendees to New York.

“There is a lot of excitement and announcements of new projects which is contributing to the euphoria,” said Brian Kelly, CEO of BKCM.

Bitcoin one-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

Also on Monday, an alliance for a digital currency system called ethereum announced 86 new members, including financial communications company Broadridge, clearinghouse DTCC and consulting firm Deloitte. Units of non-financial firms Samsung, Merck and Toyota also joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which counts JPMorgan, Intel and Microsoft among its initial members.

The alliance seeks to develop technology and standards for ethereum, which some see as a potential structure for a decentralized, next-generation internet.

“What we’re seeing is people realizing that there’s a macro impact to how we operate the economy potentially,” Andrew Keys, head of global business development at blockchain software developer ConsenSys, told CNBC in a phone interview.

Blockchain is the financial accounting system underpinning bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currencies.

In addition to Consensus, at least two other conferences on cryptocurrencies are being held in New York this month: the Ethereal Summit — attended by 471 people last Friday — and the Token Summit scheduled for Thursday.

Investors typically use bitcoin to buy other digital currencies, and interest in those assets helps drive up bitcoin’s price.

On Monday, bitcoin trade volume in U.S. dollars accounted for more than 32 percent of bitcoin trading, up from 26 percent last Monday, according to CryptoCompare.com. Trade volume in Chinese and Japanese currencies moderated to 16.95 percent and 34.2 percent, the website showed.

Over the weekend, bitcoin topped $2,000 for the first time as trade volume from Japan jumped to 55 percent from 40 percent last week. Analysts also noted bitcoin prices on Chinese exchanges narrowed a recent trading gap with the U.S.-dollar price on expectations that Hong Kong-based Bitfinex is expected to soon restore easy conversion between bitcoin on its exchanges to U.S. dollars.

Japanese authorities increasingly recognize bitcoin as a legal currency — major retailers began accepting it in April.

Several billion in U.S. dollars have flowed into bitcoin in the last week, bringing its market value to more than $37 billion Monday, according to CoinDesk.

Evelyn Cheng CNBC

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Making your international expansion a success through SEO

Without laying the proper groundwork, building a plan to target a whole new country or region is not always a recipe for success, especially for unknown brands. With SEO being such a vital part of ecommerce, it’s vital that businesses understand the differences between SEO in different countries before beginning an international campaign. There are so many factors that come into play when implementing SEO in a new country that it’s hard to draw out the key considerations, but to boil it down as simply as possible we’ve picked out three points that we believe are the most important for businesses to remember. 

1. Web Domain Strategy 

We have analysed a sample of 30 brands and retailers that use Pricesearcher. This sample included a mixture of major high street retailers, pureplays, marketplaces and mid-sized businesses. By analysing these various retailers and their domain strategies, we were able to uncover some notable insights. 

In summary, for retailers using only a .co.uk site it is very difficult to rank prominently outside of the UK on keywords that aren’t your brand or product name. Retailers that choose not to compete internationally, including some of the UK’s largest, focus exclusively on the UK market and use the .co.uk domain to help them. The research we performed does show examples where companies do generate a significant percentage of their traffic from overseas with a .co.uk domain, but this typically occurs when an international marketplace footprint is complemented with a strong, localised content marketing strategy – something that is not always the easiest to achieve. 

The most common strategy used is a generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) – a .com or .net domain coupled with some level of internationalisation in terms of shipping and/or payments to increase conversion rates of shoppers. With this kind of strategy, internationalising shipping and currency or payment options are usually the first steps implemented and tend to occur before any sophisticated domain strategy. 

When utilising sub-directories, appropriate geo-targeting (.com/uk) is effective but is under-employed in practice, with only major global brands like Benefit cosmetics (LVMH group) or very sophisticated ecommerce businesses like GreenManGaming successfully managing the cost of translation, web development, etc. 

Investing in the country code Top Level Domain’s (ccTLD) like .fr and .de is utilised only by major international brands, such as Dyson and marketplaces like Amazon, because it helps in terms of ranking in those domestic markets, but it requires domain authority to be built from scratch and therefore is a much more costly process. It’s important to remember that even though Amazon ships to around 200 countries it still only operates 13 ccTLD’s, due to the investment and time required to build domain authority. 

2. International SEO considerations 

The standard and familiar SEO guidelines still apply abroad so it’s vital to remember that user and audience must remain at the forefront of your mind. If the required investment to generate quality local content, build links and domain authority aren’t already in place then there is little point undertaking the technical SEO elements – this may well explain why a lot of companies in our research don’t submit sub-folders to Google. 

Site architecture – Google Webmaster Tools 

Businesses should set up their geo-location using the sub-folder option and submit these via webmaster tools. If a move is made to a ccTLD in future, then new sites will have to be re-submitted, but in both cases you can designate a specific geographic region and language. Our research has shown that a lot of companies have a .com but don’t go down this route – however it does help SEO ranking outside of the UK. 

HTML code – hreflang 

Put simply hreflang is a snippet of code in the header (meta data) that tells Google which country and language the content is relevant to. Google has a special tag it suggests using for those targeting other languages. The “hreflang” tag can be used to tell Google which URLs it should index and display for searchers in different countries and means you don’t get hit with duplicate content penalties.   

IP addresses  

IP addresses can also affect ranking, as domains hosted within the targeted country will give Google more confidence in their relevance to users in that area.

When aiming for positive SEO internationally, it’s important to remember that whilst you and most of your customers may use Google, that won’t necessarily be true in every country. For example:  

  • China – Google does not operate in China where Baidu is the market leader with 55% of the search market. Alibaba and its different marketplaces (TaoBao, Tmall) is commonly used as a top of the funnel product search engine as Amazon is frequently used in the UK.
  • Russia – Google does have operations and is the 2nd largest player with 34% but Yandex, the domestic Russian company leads with 58% of the market.
  • South Korea – Naver (77%) and Daum (20%) dominate in this hyper connected country where ecommerce is highly sophisticated and the country is a trendsetter for countries throughout Asia.

3. International keyword research 

The vital consideration here is regarding machine translation and how dangerous it can be. You really need a native speaker who knows the slang, miss-spelling and colloquialisms with keywords. Sophisticated translation specialists like Translate Media use native speakers to translate product titles and descriptions with particular emphasis on the keywords that will improve the SEO of the product page and keyword research itself should be to an even higher level of understanding and research. 

The following are tools and websites that can help understand your keywords in foreign languages: 

  • Google Adwords Keywords Tool: By using the advanced option of Google’s Keyword Tool, it’s possible to select keywords by country and language. You enter an initial keyword, select a language and/or target countries, and Google will return a list of keyword ideas with the associated monthly volume for each which can then be used for content creation, ad-word spend, etc.
  • Trellians Keyword Discovery Tool: For an additional source of international keyword research, consider using Trellian’s Keyword Discovery tool. It includes data from many European countries and acts a good check of the Google AdWords tool to verify your research.
  • Google Insights for Search: Use Google Insights for Search to explore trends in keyword search demand over time and identify market opportunity / trends over time. Google insights is obviously more valuable in the countries where they dominate the market share and so will be less relevant for China, Russia, S.Korea as mentioned previously.
  • Use a Proxy server to get results from a FR / DE IP address: Search engine results are often tailored to a user’s location which is determined by their IP address. To understand how results differ from country to country, you can use a proxy server to search using an international IP address which can be very useful for competitive analysis. Try this site for a selection of international proxy servers
  • SEMrush / MOZ. the popular SEO tools can be used to research the keywords of your local competitors in the different international markets that are being considered.

The rules of SEO are constantly changing and can be difficult to keep on top of in any country, so expanding into another territory only complicates things further. However, by abiding as closely as possible to the points above businesses will stand in much better stead in their targeted country and maximise the chance of international success.

Ben Morgan, Head of Partnerships, Pricesearcher.com

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock

Article source: http://www.itproportal.com/features/making-your-international-expansion-a-success-through-seo/

Navigating changes in the internet landscape and staying ahead of …

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a not-for-profit entity tasked with coordinating the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA is the authority responsible for regulating the domain name system, which is the technical process involved in connecting domain names with Internet Protocol addresses. ICANN thus runs the accreditation system for registrars, contracting with each to adhere to certain rules that enable it and IANA to maintain a working domain name system. ICANN also established the minimum requirements for the WHOIS domain name database, the Trademark Clearinghouse, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) rules and other key technical and administrative elements necessary to regulate the domain name system.

The IANA functions controlled by ICANN were, until recently, under the US government’s purview. As of October 1 2016, IANA transitioned from the US government to ICANN. As a result of the transition and preparations for the launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), many of ICANN’s policies and functions are under review. While the changes in the rules and policies of ICANN will have little effect on a particular user’s day-to-day use or online interactions, these policies have significant consequences for brand owners. ICANN’s governance structure is a stakeholder model, meaning that multiple parties participate in the decision-making process. As the review of ICANN’s programmes and policies progresses, conflicting positions inevitably arise – often between advocates supporting the position that ICANN assist IP owners in policing and enforcing their rights and those who insist on preserving certain freedoms, such as a free market and an absolute right to online anonymity. As an example, online anonymity significantly impedes the rights of IP owners because it poses a bar to identifying those engaged in, among other things, counterfeiting and cybersquatting.

ICANN has consistently taken the position that any policing or enforcement of intellectual property – including the fight against counterfeiting and other criminal activity – is beyond its mission and scope. Thus, enforcement efforts fall to brand owners and law enforcement. That said, ICANN has implemented rights protection mechanisms to assist IP owners. As these mechanisms also come under review, there may be room for either expansion or narrowing of the scope of the protections, as opposing sides battle to sway policy. Some mechanisms currently under review are the WHOIS domain name database, the Trademark Clearinghouse and sunrise programmes for new gTLDs. The UDRP Procedures, Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) System and Post-delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures (PDDRP) are all expected to come under review in the near future. Finally, working groups are also in place to enhance ICANN’s accountability measures to its stakeholders. Brand owners should be aware of how the review of these programmes will affect brand protection strategies going forward, as well as looking beyond these programmes for resources to police and enforce IP rights.

WHOIS domain name database

ICANN requires that domain name registrars obtain identifying information from the individuals or organisations registering a domain name. Despite the lack of a centrally managed database, the information gathered by the registries is collectively referred to as the WHOIS domain name database.

The WHOIS database was intended to create a central location where users can obtain reliable information regarding the ownership of domain names. However, brand owners looking to find the culpable parties operating rogue websites or counterfeiters find that the WHOIS system is broken; the information is regularly inaccurate, as either the identifying information is wholly false or a registrant has used a proxy or privacy service to conceal its identity. Having recognised these obstacles, US courts have recently allowed alternative remedies and means of service of process to assert some measure of recourse. It appears that the time is ripe for ICANN to catch up.

In recognition of the failings of the existing WHOIS database, the initial report published by the working group tasked with evaluation of the service concluded that it should be abandoned and replaced. The group recommends an entirely new system that would collect and validate data surrounding the identity of registrants, but would not be publicly available. Instead, the information would be disclosed only to authenticated parties and only for certain permissible purposes (eg, domain name purchase and sale; legal actions). It is still unclear as to what sort of procedures would be implemented to validate and ensure accuracy of registrants’ identity and contact information and whether it would constitute an improvement on the existing system. Until the changes are implemented, the inaccuracies in the database pose a challenge to brand owners seeking to enforce their rights.

Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a database of registered trademarks that is meant to give trademark owners priority registration of domain names for new gTLDs. It allows brand owners to register domains containing their trademarks and obtain notices when third parties attempt to register other domain names containing their marks. When a new gTLD launches, it must hold a priority registration period called a ‘sunrise’ period, during which only verified trademark owners that have their marks recorded at the Trademark Clearinghouse may register new domain names. The Trademark Clearinghouse was intended in large part to prevent the abuse of domain purchases – including cybersquatting, which occurs when a party registers domains in bad faith that may be likely to be confused with a registered trademark.

As part of ICANN’s review of the effectiveness and impact of the Trademark Clearinghouse’s services, it commissioned the Analysis Group to conduct a post-launch study of the services. The study made three main conclusions. First, brand owners have requested a feature to have the Trademark Clearinghouse expand matching criteria to include non-exact matches, which would deter registration of nearly identical domains. However, the study found that this may be of limited benefit. Second, many have called for extension of the claims service period. When new gTLDs launch, a 90-day period typically begins once the sunrise priority registration period has ended. During these 90 days, Claims Services sends notifications to third parties that may be attempting to register domains matching Trademark Clearinghouse-recorded trademarks. The report found that extending the trademark claims service may have diminishing value, because domain name registrations in new gTLDs drop dramatically after the 90-day period ends. Third, the report found that few trademark users use the sunrise period. On the other hand, a valuable finding of the draft report is that the claims service of the Trademark Clearinghouse, which was developed to deter bad-faith registrations, actually works. The draft report found a 94% abandonment rate for registration attempts that received a claims service notification (ie, a notification that the domain name request matched a registered trademark validated through the Trademark Clearinghouse).

These findings are important for brand owners, because ICANN has chartered a working group to review its rights protection mechanisms, including the Trademark Clearinghouse. Members of the working group are advocating, based on the Analysis Group’s findings, that certain protections given by the Trademark Clearinghouse be limited. For example, advocates have proposed a use requirement where trademark owners seeking to validate their registration with the Trademark Clearinghouse must also show use of the mark. There have also been calls to limit the types of trademark subject to protection through the Trademark Clearinghouse. There is a possibility that the findings of the draft report will lead to a change in the Trademark Clearinghouse that may narrow its protections for trademark owners. However, the finding that the claims service effectively deters registrations of domains that match registered trademarks is important and brand owners should keep this in mind as new gTLDs enter the market.

Domain disputes

ICANN provides some dispute resolution alternatives for rights holders facing violations of their IP rights – the UDRP, the URS and the PDDRP. The UDRP is the original administrative procedure established to allow rights holders to combat abusive registrations. With the launch of new gTLDs, ICANN created the URS to give rights holders a less expensive, expedited process to suspend offending domains. With the expansion of gTLDs, ICANN also recognised the potential for registrar misconduct and established the PDDRP to provide those harmed by a gTLD registry a venue for these complaints.

Despite ICANN’s best intentions, from a brand owner’s perspective, these administrative proceedings have significant drawbacks, with remedies under these administrative proceedings falling far short of adequate. For example, under the UDRP and URS, many find that they institute a successful action against one domain, only to have another identical website pop up shortly thereafter under a slightly different domain name. Many find that the combination of inaccurate WHOIS records, the limited advantages of the Trademark Clearinghouse and the cost and limited relief obtained from these proceedings undermines their very nature and purpose.

As these enforcement procedures come under review, brand owners would be well served to advocate for broader relief. For example, under the URS, some have proposed a model in which temporary suspension can lead to acquisition of the domain by the actual trademark owner. Some have further advocated that all administrative procedures have a loser-pays model, in which the losing party bears the cost of the proceedings, which would serve as a significant deterrent to bad-faith registrations. Others have called for the automatic transfer of domains to the complainant where the registrant is non-responsive. Any of these changes could go a long way towards making these procedures more effective at combating the abuse of domain name registrations. It would further serve the purpose of providing a needed sense of security and legitimacy to brand owners and consumers alike.

Brand owner action

The reality is that ICANN, by its nature as the administrator of domain names, can offer only limited rights protection mechanisms and will never be the ultimate enforcer for brand owners. While ICANN’s services can be useful tools in combating bad-faith registrations and counterfeiters, brand owners must look for resources outside ICANN’s services for brand protection and anti-counterfeiting measures. This is especially true where the ICANN rules are in flux and new procedures will not be implemented for many years.

The first step is to ensure that brands are adequately protected through copyright, trademark and trade dress registrations in the countries where the relevant products are manufactured and sold. Comprehensive protection strategies are becoming increasingly necessary as global markets expand faster than IP protection mechanisms. Subsequently, ensuring regular marketplace surveillance is a necessary component of brand protection. Surveillance should include e-commerce sites and online marketplaces, as well as the brand owner’s own distribution channels. It is often someone close to the brand that permits (and profits from) unauthorised actions by manufacturers or distributors. Knowledge of the primary weaknesses and areas in which pirated or counterfeit goods are most prominent is essential to developing an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy.

For counterfeiting in e-commerce and online marketplaces, there are now sophisticated software tools offered by vendors providing full lists of counterfeits. Forensic technology offered by these vendors can assist brand owners in analysing the data to narrow the focus to the highest-volume and most problematic sellers. However, it is insufficient simply to combat these counterfeiters online. By narrowing the field, brand owners can concentrate resources on the best (ie, highest-value) targets and develop a strategy by engaging investigators and counsel in key territories who are skilled at developing a case against the sellers. Good investigators know the evidentiary requirements for civil and criminal actions in their countries and, together with sophisticated counsel, can help to identify and shut down these sellers on the ground.

Issues also arise in the form of grey-market goods – genuine products that are brought into a country by someone other than the brand owner or authorised importer and compete in the market. To combat grey-market goods, brand owners are increasingly turning to authentication technologies that allow them to track and trace packages and identify fakes that do not contain the proper authentications. Often, what at first appear to be counterfeits (perhaps identified by a major account) turn out to be grey-market goods, shifting investigative and enforcement strategies. The available technologies are wide ranging and choosing the proper technology depends on the type of product. They include smart labels and tags, radio frequency identification, multi-layered coding and ultraviolet, infrared and fluorescent inks, among others.

Adopting any of these technologies can have multiple benefits. First, it allows the brand owner to keep track of its goods along the supply chain. Second, the technology acts as a clear signal to third parties of legitimate products – customs agencies can be trained to recognise genuine products containing the appropriate track-and-trace technologies. It can also be a signal to help consumers to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate products. As with any solution, the human element proves to be invaluable. Educating sales forces and marketing teams as to the harm caused by grey goods and establishing protocols for reporting to management are indispensable tools. Finally, courts in the United States have allowed brand owners to bring trademark infringement cases where product packaging of genuine products was altered to remove or otherwise conceal tracking mechanisms such as Universal Product Code labels and batch codes. Thus, these technologies can be useful tools in combating the import of unauthorised goods.

Conclusion

The transition of the IANA functions from the US government to ICANN triggered a comprehensive review of many of ICANN’s services. While these do not have a serious impact on the everyday use of the Internet, they do have consequences for the services available to brand owners to combat counterfeiting and cybersquatting. Changes to the WHOIS domain name database, Trademark Clearinghouse and dispute resolution procedures threaten to narrow the scope of the protections available to rights holders. The WHOIS information could become even more difficult to obtain if it is restricted, the claims services under the Trademark Clearinghouse could be reduced and there is still no clear indication of the changes that may be implemented to the dispute resolution procedures.

While rights holders should continue to make use of these services – even while they are under review – they should look beyond these services to develop an organised policing and enforcement strategy. This can include maintenance of a strong IP portfolio and continuous market surveillance. To combat counterfeiting on e-commerce sites and online marketplaces, enlist a forensic analyst to identify high-value sellers, partner with experienced local investigators and hire counsel to effectively take them down on the ground. Finally, adopt appropriate track-and-trace technologies to combat the import of grey goods. Working with experienced counsel to tailor a strategy for a specific product line or brand can go a long way towards executing an effective, efficient fight to protect the brand from counterfeits or unauthorised goods.

McCarter English, LLP

245 Park Ave, 27th Flr

New York NY 10167

United States

Tel +1 212 609 6800

Fax +1 212 609 6921

Web www.mccarter.com

Jennifer Itzkoff

Associate

jitzkoff@mccarter.com

Jennifer Itzkoff counsels clients in brand development and management. She practises in the areas of trademark, copyright, IP licensing, internet law and patent litigation. She represents clients in a variety of industries including consumer goods, toys, luxury and fashion, scientific instruments and pharmaceuticals. Ms Itzkoff assists clients with the selection, clearance, registration and policing of trademarks as well as overall management of large global IP portfolios. She also assists in engaging foreign counsel to secure IP protection abroad as well as the development of policing and anti-counterfeiting strategies. She represents clients in infringement litigation as well as other IP and commercial litigation matters, such as trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition, cybersquatting and trade secret misappropriation.

James H Donoian

Partner

jdonoian@mccarter.com

James Donoian has counselled clients for more than 25 years on global IP and brand management issues, including enforcing and litigating matters from expedited equitable relief through trials; advising clients regarding global branding and IP strategies, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, advertising and rights of publicity; and negotiating licences and distribution agreements. He has litigated in over 25 different US courts against an array of competitors, licensees and infringers. He has been responsible for global anti-counterfeiting enforcement programmes, successfully implementing strategies combining various IP claims and equitable remedies to obtain seizure orders, asset restraints and other novel forms of equitable relief against domestic and foreign companies, often concurrent with criminal cases in the United States and civil or criminal actions in foreign jurisdictions.

This article first appeared in World Trademark Review. For further information please visit www.WorldTrademarkReview.com.

Article source: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2ded23e8-d078-461a-bda5-2a38252291bb

Navigating changes in the internet landscape and staying ahead of the curve

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a not-for-profit entity tasked with coordinating the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). IANA is the authority responsible for regulating the domain name system, which is the technical process involved in connecting domain names with Internet Protocol addresses. ICANN thus runs the accreditation system for registrars, contracting with each to adhere to certain rules that enable it and IANA to maintain a working domain name system. ICANN also established the minimum requirements for the WHOIS domain name database, the Trademark Clearinghouse, the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) rules and other key technical and administrative elements necessary to regulate the domain name system.

The IANA functions controlled by ICANN were, until recently, under the US government’s purview. As of October 1 2016, IANA transitioned from the US government to ICANN. As a result of the transition and preparations for the launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), many of ICANN’s policies and functions are under review. While the changes in the rules and policies of ICANN will have little effect on a particular user’s day-to-day use or online interactions, these policies have significant consequences for brand owners. ICANN’s governance structure is a stakeholder model, meaning that multiple parties participate in the decision-making process. As the review of ICANN’s programmes and policies progresses, conflicting positions inevitably arise – often between advocates supporting the position that ICANN assist IP owners in policing and enforcing their rights and those who insist on preserving certain freedoms, such as a free market and an absolute right to online anonymity. As an example, online anonymity significantly impedes the rights of IP owners because it poses a bar to identifying those engaged in, among other things, counterfeiting and cybersquatting.

ICANN has consistently taken the position that any policing or enforcement of intellectual property – including the fight against counterfeiting and other criminal activity – is beyond its mission and scope. Thus, enforcement efforts fall to brand owners and law enforcement. That said, ICANN has implemented rights protection mechanisms to assist IP owners. As these mechanisms also come under review, there may be room for either expansion or narrowing of the scope of the protections, as opposing sides battle to sway policy. Some mechanisms currently under review are the WHOIS domain name database, the Trademark Clearinghouse and sunrise programmes for new gTLDs. The UDRP Procedures, Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) System and Post-delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures (PDDRP) are all expected to come under review in the near future. Finally, working groups are also in place to enhance ICANN’s accountability measures to its stakeholders. Brand owners should be aware of how the review of these programmes will affect brand protection strategies going forward, as well as looking beyond these programmes for resources to police and enforce IP rights.

WHOIS domain name database

ICANN requires that domain name registrars obtain identifying information from the individuals or organisations registering a domain name. Despite the lack of a centrally managed database, the information gathered by the registries is collectively referred to as the WHOIS domain name database.

The WHOIS database was intended to create a central location where users can obtain reliable information regarding the ownership of domain names. However, brand owners looking to find the culpable parties operating rogue websites or counterfeiters find that the WHOIS system is broken; the information is regularly inaccurate, as either the identifying information is wholly false or a registrant has used a proxy or privacy service to conceal its identity. Having recognised these obstacles, US courts have recently allowed alternative remedies and means of service of process to assert some measure of recourse. It appears that the time is ripe for ICANN to catch up.

In recognition of the failings of the existing WHOIS database, the initial report published by the working group tasked with evaluation of the service concluded that it should be abandoned and replaced. The group recommends an entirely new system that would collect and validate data surrounding the identity of registrants, but would not be publicly available. Instead, the information would be disclosed only to authenticated parties and only for certain permissible purposes (eg, domain name purchase and sale; legal actions). It is still unclear as to what sort of procedures would be implemented to validate and ensure accuracy of registrants’ identity and contact information and whether it would constitute an improvement on the existing system. Until the changes are implemented, the inaccuracies in the database pose a challenge to brand owners seeking to enforce their rights.

Trademark Clearinghouse

The Trademark Clearinghouse is a database of registered trademarks that is meant to give trademark owners priority registration of domain names for new gTLDs. It allows brand owners to register domains containing their trademarks and obtain notices when third parties attempt to register other domain names containing their marks. When a new gTLD launches, it must hold a priority registration period called a ‘sunrise’ period, during which only verified trademark owners that have their marks recorded at the Trademark Clearinghouse may register new domain names. The Trademark Clearinghouse was intended in large part to prevent the abuse of domain purchases – including cybersquatting, which occurs when a party registers domains in bad faith that may be likely to be confused with a registered trademark.

As part of ICANN’s review of the effectiveness and impact of the Trademark Clearinghouse’s services, it commissioned the Analysis Group to conduct a post-launch study of the services. The study made three main conclusions. First, brand owners have requested a feature to have the Trademark Clearinghouse expand matching criteria to include non-exact matches, which would deter registration of nearly identical domains. However, the study found that this may be of limited benefit. Second, many have called for extension of the claims service period. When new gTLDs launch, a 90-day period typically begins once the sunrise priority registration period has ended. During these 90 days, Claims Services sends notifications to third parties that may be attempting to register domains matching Trademark Clearinghouse-recorded trademarks. The report found that extending the trademark claims service may have diminishing value, because domain name registrations in new gTLDs drop dramatically after the 90-day period ends. Third, the report found that few trademark users use the sunrise period. On the other hand, a valuable finding of the draft report is that the claims service of the Trademark Clearinghouse, which was developed to deter bad-faith registrations, actually works. The draft report found a 94% abandonment rate for registration attempts that received a claims service notification (ie, a notification that the domain name request matched a registered trademark validated through the Trademark Clearinghouse).

These findings are important for brand owners, because ICANN has chartered a working group to review its rights protection mechanisms, including the Trademark Clearinghouse. Members of the working group are advocating, based on the Analysis Group’s findings, that certain protections given by the Trademark Clearinghouse be limited. For example, advocates have proposed a use requirement where trademark owners seeking to validate their registration with the Trademark Clearinghouse must also show use of the mark. There have also been calls to limit the types of trademark subject to protection through the Trademark Clearinghouse. There is a possibility that the findings of the draft report will lead to a change in the Trademark Clearinghouse that may narrow its protections for trademark owners. However, the finding that the claims service effectively deters registrations of domains that match registered trademarks is important and brand owners should keep this in mind as new gTLDs enter the market.

Domain disputes

ICANN provides some dispute resolution alternatives for rights holders facing violations of their IP rights – the UDRP, the URS and the PDDRP. The UDRP is the original administrative procedure established to allow rights holders to combat abusive registrations. With the launch of new gTLDs, ICANN created the URS to give rights holders a less expensive, expedited process to suspend offending domains. With the expansion of gTLDs, ICANN also recognised the potential for registrar misconduct and established the PDDRP to provide those harmed by a gTLD registry a venue for these complaints.

Despite ICANN’s best intentions, from a brand owner’s perspective, these administrative proceedings have significant drawbacks, with remedies under these administrative proceedings falling far short of adequate. For example, under the UDRP and URS, many find that they institute a successful action against one domain, only to have another identical website pop up shortly thereafter under a slightly different domain name. Many find that the combination of inaccurate WHOIS records, the limited advantages of the Trademark Clearinghouse and the cost and limited relief obtained from these proceedings undermines their very nature and purpose.

As these enforcement procedures come under review, brand owners would be well served to advocate for broader relief. For example, under the URS, some have proposed a model in which temporary suspension can lead to acquisition of the domain by the actual trademark owner. Some have further advocated that all administrative procedures have a loser-pays model, in which the losing party bears the cost of the proceedings, which would serve as a significant deterrent to bad-faith registrations. Others have called for the automatic transfer of domains to the complainant where the registrant is non-responsive. Any of these changes could go a long way towards making these procedures more effective at combating the abuse of domain name registrations. It would further serve the purpose of providing a needed sense of security and legitimacy to brand owners and consumers alike.

Brand owner action

The reality is that ICANN, by its nature as the administrator of domain names, can offer only limited rights protection mechanisms and will never be the ultimate enforcer for brand owners. While ICANN’s services can be useful tools in combating bad-faith registrations and counterfeiters, brand owners must look for resources outside ICANN’s services for brand protection and anti-counterfeiting measures. This is especially true where the ICANN rules are in flux and new procedures will not be implemented for many years.

The first step is to ensure that brands are adequately protected through copyright, trademark and trade dress registrations in the countries where the relevant products are manufactured and sold. Comprehensive protection strategies are becoming increasingly necessary as global markets expand faster than IP protection mechanisms. Subsequently, ensuring regular marketplace surveillance is a necessary component of brand protection. Surveillance should include e-commerce sites and online marketplaces, as well as the brand owner’s own distribution channels. It is often someone close to the brand that permits (and profits from) unauthorised actions by manufacturers or distributors. Knowledge of the primary weaknesses and areas in which pirated or counterfeit goods are most prominent is essential to developing an effective anti-counterfeiting strategy.

For counterfeiting in e-commerce and online marketplaces, there are now sophisticated software tools offered by vendors providing full lists of counterfeits. Forensic technology offered by these vendors can assist brand owners in analysing the data to narrow the focus to the highest-volume and most problematic sellers. However, it is insufficient simply to combat these counterfeiters online. By narrowing the field, brand owners can concentrate resources on the best (ie, highest-value) targets and develop a strategy by engaging investigators and counsel in key territories who are skilled at developing a case against the sellers. Good investigators know the evidentiary requirements for civil and criminal actions in their countries and, together with sophisticated counsel, can help to identify and shut down these sellers on the ground.

Issues also arise in the form of grey-market goods – genuine products that are brought into a country by someone other than the brand owner or authorised importer and compete in the market. To combat grey-market goods, brand owners are increasingly turning to authentication technologies that allow them to track and trace packages and identify fakes that do not contain the proper authentications. Often, what at first appear to be counterfeits (perhaps identified by a major account) turn out to be grey-market goods, shifting investigative and enforcement strategies. The available technologies are wide ranging and choosing the proper technology depends on the type of product. They include smart labels and tags, radio frequency identification, multi-layered coding and ultraviolet, infrared and fluorescent inks, among others.

Adopting any of these technologies can have multiple benefits. First, it allows the brand owner to keep track of its goods along the supply chain. Second, the technology acts as a clear signal to third parties of legitimate products – customs agencies can be trained to recognise genuine products containing the appropriate track-and-trace technologies. It can also be a signal to help consumers to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate products. As with any solution, the human element proves to be invaluable. Educating sales forces and marketing teams as to the harm caused by grey goods and establishing protocols for reporting to management are indispensable tools. Finally, courts in the United States have allowed brand owners to bring trademark infringement cases where product packaging of genuine products was altered to remove or otherwise conceal tracking mechanisms such as Universal Product Code labels and batch codes. Thus, these technologies can be useful tools in combating the import of unauthorised goods.

Conclusion

The transition of the IANA functions from the US government to ICANN triggered a comprehensive review of many of ICANN’s services. While these do not have a serious impact on the everyday use of the Internet, they do have consequences for the services available to brand owners to combat counterfeiting and cybersquatting. Changes to the WHOIS domain name database, Trademark Clearinghouse and dispute resolution procedures threaten to narrow the scope of the protections available to rights holders. The WHOIS information could become even more difficult to obtain if it is restricted, the claims services under the Trademark Clearinghouse could be reduced and there is still no clear indication of the changes that may be implemented to the dispute resolution procedures.

While rights holders should continue to make use of these services – even while they are under review – they should look beyond these services to develop an organised policing and enforcement strategy. This can include maintenance of a strong IP portfolio and continuous market surveillance. To combat counterfeiting on e-commerce sites and online marketplaces, enlist a forensic analyst to identify high-value sellers, partner with experienced local investigators and hire counsel to effectively take them down on the ground. Finally, adopt appropriate track-and-trace technologies to combat the import of grey goods. Working with experienced counsel to tailor a strategy for a specific product line or brand can go a long way towards executing an effective, efficient fight to protect the brand from counterfeits or unauthorised goods.

McCarter English, LLP

245 Park Ave, 27th Flr

New York NY 10167

United States

Tel +1 212 609 6800

Fax +1 212 609 6921

Web www.mccarter.com

Jennifer Itzkoff

Associate

jitzkoff@mccarter.com

Jennifer Itzkoff counsels clients in brand development and management. She practises in the areas of trademark, copyright, IP licensing, internet law and patent litigation. She represents clients in a variety of industries including consumer goods, toys, luxury and fashion, scientific instruments and pharmaceuticals. Ms Itzkoff assists clients with the selection, clearance, registration and policing of trademarks as well as overall management of large global IP portfolios. She also assists in engaging foreign counsel to secure IP protection abroad as well as the development of policing and anti-counterfeiting strategies. She represents clients in infringement litigation as well as other IP and commercial litigation matters, such as trademark counterfeiting, unfair competition, cybersquatting and trade secret misappropriation.

James H Donoian

Partner

jdonoian@mccarter.com

James Donoian has counselled clients for more than 25 years on global IP and brand management issues, including enforcing and litigating matters from expedited equitable relief through trials; advising clients regarding global branding and IP strategies, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, advertising and rights of publicity; and negotiating licences and distribution agreements. He has litigated in over 25 different US courts against an array of competitors, licensees and infringers. He has been responsible for global anti-counterfeiting enforcement programmes, successfully implementing strategies combining various IP claims and equitable remedies to obtain seizure orders, asset restraints and other novel forms of equitable relief against domestic and foreign companies, often concurrent with criminal cases in the United States and civil or criminal actions in foreign jurisdictions.

This article first appeared in World Trademark Review. For further information please visit www.WorldTrademarkReview.com.

Article source: http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=2ded23e8-d078-461a-bda5-2a38252291bb

Windows 10 S Won’t Support Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu …

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Linux distributions Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, and Fedora were coming to the Windows Store. It was assumed that this was because of the launch of the Windows 10 S, which ran only Windows Store apps. Now, Microsoft has clarified that these apps won’t run on Windows 10 S, as the platform isn’t meant for app developers, hackers, and IT professionals.

In its blog, the company notes explicitly that “Windows 10 S does not run command-line applications, nor the Windows Console, Cmd / PowerShell, or Linux/Bash/WSL instances since command-line apps run outside the safe environment that protects Windows 10 S from malicious / misbehaving software.”

Microsoft elaborates that Windows 10 S is meant for the non-technical users, and looks to keep things simple and safe. The operating system is targeted towards teachers and students, who aren’t expected to do aimless work on their PCs, and quite frankly, don’t need the Linux distributions.

“Linux distro store packages are an exotic type of app package that are published to the Windows Store by known partners. Users find and install distros, safely, quickly, and reliably via the Windows Store app. Once installed, however, distro’s should be treated as command-line tools that run outside the UWP sandbox secure runtime infrastructure. They run with the capabilities granted to the local user – in the same way as Cmd and PowerShell do. This is why Linux distro’s don’t run on Windows 10 S: Even though they’re delivered via the Windows Store, and installed as standard UWP APPX’s, they run as non-UWP command-line tools and this can access more of a system than a UWP can,” the blog elaborates.

This means Linux distributions aren’t coming to Windows 10 S, but if you want your laptop to run them nevertheless, upgrade to full Windows 10, and you’ll be able to access them via Windows Store.

Article source: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/laptops/news/windows-10-s-linux-distributions-availability-fedora-suse-ubuntu-1696820

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Article source: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/587888/advertising+marketing+branding/No+False+Advertising+Where+There+Is+No+Injury+or+Statements+Are+Opinions

Windows 10 S Won’t Support Fedora, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Linux distributions Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, and Fedora were coming to the Windows Store. It was assumed that this was because of the launch of the Windows 10 S, which ran only Windows Store apps. Now, Microsoft has clarified that these apps won’t run on Windows 10 S, as the platform isn’t meant for app developers, hackers, and IT professionals.

In its blog, the company notes explicitly that “Windows 10 S does not run command-line applications, nor the Windows Console, Cmd / PowerShell, or Linux/Bash/WSL instances since command-line apps run outside the safe environment that protects Windows 10 S from malicious / misbehaving software.”

Microsoft elaborates that Windows 10 S is meant for the non-technical users, and looks to keep things simple and safe. The operating system is targeted towards teachers and students, who aren’t expected to do aimless work on their PCs, and quite frankly, don’t need the Linux distributions.

“Linux distro store packages are an exotic type of app package that are published to the Windows Store by known partners. Users find and install distros, safely, quickly, and reliably via the Windows Store app. Once installed, however, distro’s should be treated as command-line tools that run outside the UWP sandbox secure runtime infrastructure. They run with the capabilities granted to the local user – in the same way as Cmd and PowerShell do. This is why Linux distro’s don’t run on Windows 10 S: Even though they’re delivered via the Windows Store, and installed as standard UWP APPX’s, they run as non-UWP command-line tools and this can access more of a system than a UWP can,” the blog elaborates.

This means Linux distributions aren’t coming to Windows 10 S, but if you want your laptop to run them nevertheless, upgrade to full Windows 10, and you’ll be able to access them via Windows Store.

Article source: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/laptops/news/windows-10-s-linux-distributions-availability-fedora-suse-ubuntu-1696820

Mahindra takes a page from Celtics playbook, follows ‘ubuntu’ philosophy – ABS

MANILA, Philippines – It may be too late for the Mahindra Floodbuster to make a run for the playoffs of the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, but their coach believes that the team is laying the groundwork for a better campaign in the next conference.

For the first time in the entire conference, Mahindra won back-to-back games on Sunday, escaping with a thrilling 122-121 overtime win over Phoenix to build on their 96-87 victory over Blackwater last May 7.

That put their record at 3-7 with still one game to go in their elimination round schedule, and kept them in the hunt for a quarterfinals spot. 

However, Mahindra coach Chris Gavina acknowledged that they will need some help from other teams in order to get there.

“We know that we need a couple of teams not to reach four wins,” he said after Sunday’s victory.

“It is a good situation to be statistically still in it, someway, somehow, considering the kind of ups and downs of our season,” he added.

It had been a difficult conference for the Floodbuster, as they won only one of their first eight games. Gavina had taken to calling out some players through the media for their effort and lackluster play. It all came to a head earlier this month, when they traded disgruntled guard Alex Mallari to NLEX in exchange for Glenn Khobuntin and Eric Camson.

Since the trade, they have won back-to-back games, and Gavina has raved about the new, positive energy that their new players have brought into the team.

“Our post today on our board is that everybody looks to contribute. We’ve kind of taken on this South African philosophy called ‘ubuntu,’ that states that there is a bond in sharing that connects all of humanity,” Gavina said.

“It means that ‘I am because we are,'” he added. “Our guys are buying into it. With the addition of Glenn and Eric, the energy we have in practice has really been contagious, from everybody from our main guys to (import) Keith Wright.”

Ubuntu was the same South African philosophy that the Boston Celtics famously took strength from in their run to the 2008 NBA championship.

Though a championship is still far from Mahindra’s sights, they are nevertheless similarly drawing inspiration from the South African philosophy in order to put their early struggles behind them and try to work together in order to be better in the future.

“I think the lessons that we’ve learned, through the crisis that we dealt with this conference, dealing with a lot of early losses, (those lessons are) paving the way towards a better future for us,” said Gavina. “I told these guys that our destiny is in our hands, which is what we want, going towards the last game against Ginebra.”

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

Article source: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/05/22/17/mahindra-takes-a-page-from-celtics-playbook-follows-ubuntu-philosophy

IRS Probe of Bitcoin Goes Too Far, GOP Warns

fight between the Internal Revenue Service and a popular bitcoin exchange took a new twist last week, as senior Republicans in Congress sent a sharply-worded letter that suggests the tax agency is overstepping its powers.

The letter concerns an IRS investigation into possible tax evasion by customers who use Coinbase, a San Francisco-based company that many people use to buy digital currencies. As part of the investigation, which began last year, officials demanded that Coinbase turn over information for every one of its accounts.

Coinbase and its customers are currently in court trying to block the demand, saying it’s too broad, and now the letter from the Republicans is likely to give them extra ammunition.

“The summons is estimated to affect 500,000 active Coinbase customers and would result in the production of millions of pages of associated records, many of which contain personally identifiable information … Based on the information before us, this summons seems overly broad, extremely burdensome, and highly intrusive to a large population of individuals,” says the letter, which is signed by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and by Vern Buchanan and Kevin Brady, who head the House Committee on Ways and Means. (my emphasis)

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The Republicans’ concerns echo those of Coinbase and its customers, who argue the IRS does not need every single Coinbase account to carry out its audit, and that the investigation sweeps in people who have clearly done nothing wrong.

The tax agency, for its part, has pointed out that only 802 Coinbase users filed a tax form related to bitcoin in 2015, which suggests large number of people have failed to declare capital gains related to bitcoin.

The IRS investigation also comes at a time when the price of bitcoin has been on an incredible tear, climbing from $13 in 2013 to a new high of over $2,000 last week. Those who profited from the higher prices—either by selling bitcoin for dollars or exchanging it for merchandise—are required to pay taxes on the gain.

Some Coinbase customers, however, have not sold any bitcoin at all while many others hold only a minimal amount, raising questions of why the IRS demanded information about every account.

One theory, according to a lawyer who spoke with Fortune late last year, is that the IRS’s sweeping demand is a negotiating tactic to make Coinbase more cooperative, and that the two sides will reach an agreement to allow the agency to inspect some, but not all, of the accounts.

The letter from the Republicans, which asks the IRS to explain its strategy for enforcing tax payments on digital currency by June 7, is likely to put pressure on the agency to come to a deal with Coinbase.

Article source: http://fortune.com/2017/05/21/irs-bitcoin-congress/